This is a bittersweet post for Team Liquid, as we're announcing the end of our time in PUBG esports. We know this may come as a surprise, given our roster's scheduled appearance in PCS7 this September but we've spoken with the players. Both the team and staff knew this was coming since August 4th (and knew it was a possibility since January). The team will still compete in this event, but looking beyond the PCS7, the landscape of PUBG esports has shifted in a direction that we cannot follow.
As an organization and esports team, we’re governed by the financial realities of the scene, and as this industry grows it also changes. Those changes - in esports, business, and even international marketplaces - mean that we have to exit PUBG. We’ve been in PUBG for 5 years, dating all the way back to the days when the Battle Royale was untested, unproven, and routinely doubted. In that time, we worked with players, fans, casters, and others to build a beautiful community within this title and we take no joy in leaving it.
That’s the bitter end of why we’re here. The sweet side is that we’ve had 5 years of great times and achievements with our PUBG team. 5 years truly worth celebrating. With so many adventures and events under our belts, we want to walk through Liquid’s time in PUBG and send this squad off on a high note as they look towards their own futures. And we want to speak directly to the community through letters written by the people in Liquid who fought hard for PUBG and still love it to this day. Last, but not least, we’ll say goodbye with some favorite moments selected by the community members that kept us in PUBG all this time.
Thinking Back and Looking Forward
Team Liquid entered the PUBG ecosystem in 2017 with a roster of Ollywood, MOLNMAN, Hayz, and Scoom. At this point, the battle royale was more streaming phenomenon than esport, but TL saw an opportunity to give the new talent (and new format) a shot, and so the roster was formed. They made their debut at an event at Gamescom, and the rest was history.
In 2018, the squad had a great showing in the newly formed competitive scene, thanks to the addition of Ibiza and his 200 IQ plays. They took second place in both first and third person events at that year's PUBG Global Invitational, and first at both the StarSeries & i-League PUBG Season 2, as well as the Polaris Series.
When coach Tanner “7Teen” Curtis joined the squad in 2019, they all moved to a team house in Berlin, Germany to participate in the European PUBG League – which was broadly considered to be the most competitive region at the time. 7Teen has many fond memories of spending time with the team in their Berlin house.
"We had a lot of fun living in the team house in Berlin, throughout 2019," 7Teen said. "Lots of walks to döner [kebabs] and late nights playing music and watching Game of Thrones in the living room."
This was the first time some of the guys were living without parental supervision, so they had a lot to adapt to, living in a new country on their own. This led to hiccups even when it came to simple things like navigating public transportation.
Living and playing together paid off competitively speaking and helped TL to start strong in 2019. They won that year's Kickoff Cup in dominant fashion after coming off their previous out-of-town tournament in third place.
"We just absolutely stomped everyone," 7Teen said of the event. "We knew that it was our time to go. That week, there was this feeling that we were just going to dominate everyone. And we did."
That night at their house in Berlin, the squad celebrated their win. It was this night 7Teen remembers as the one that solidified them all as more than just teammates, but friends. It was also the last big victory they'd share in 2019. They managed to place third and then second in that year's PEL Phase 2 and 3, respectively, but couldn't keep that momentum going into the Global Championship in Los Angeles. Team Liquid didn't even make it out of the first round of this event, their worst tournament performance to date.
The entire world changed in 2020, and so our squad also had to adjust to our new reality. Everything to do with the game went fully online again, the team had several roster changes, and 7Teen was in the United States while the team members were all in Europe. But despite these changes and challenges, Team Liquid did their best to rise to the occasion.
"It was still a good time," 7Teen said. "It was much different because we weren't in person. But we really made strides to become a better team."
These strides included building up strength within the new roster. During their time in Europe, the Team Liquid squad had a fierce but friendly rivalry with FaZe Clan that continued throughout their tenure. One of FaZe's former players, mxey, joined TL in 2020 and became a core member of the ever-evolving team. With him in their ranks, Team Liquid took 3 consecutive second place spots in that year's PUBG Continental Series: Europe 2 through 4.
FaZe often had the upper hand in this years-long war of attrition, but our squad always put up a good fight. During the third phase of PEL 2019, 7Teen spent the entire night before prepping strategies to help his team get the upper hand on their rivals and didn't sleep a wink. They were already guaranteed second, but the coach was hungry to finally beat FaZe.
"We didn't, by the way," 7Teen said. "But we tried, we gave our best effort. And we gave the fans some really exciting moments of us, you know, hard dropping on them, or literally knowing exactly what route they were going to do and following them for one of the last games, just right on their heels the whole time trying to take them out."
With COVID-19 restrictions easing up a bit the following year, Team Liquid PUBG made their way to Korea to compete in multiple events. The quarantine was "hellish," according to 7Teen, but the overall experience was more than worthwhile. TL managed to qualify for the finals of PGI that year during the last game, despite losing a player in the middle of the game and having to navigate multiple unfavorable circles.
"But [the team] was just like the train that couldn't be stopped," 7Teen said. "And it's just – it was an incredible moment in PUBG's history."
Every iteration of Team Liquid's PUBG squad has been fighters, that much is clear. Despite ups and downs, bumps in the road, and world-altering changes, this team has always given their all to improve and become the best they could be. As an org we tried to match that spirit, fighting to stay in PUBG for as long as we could, but eventually we hit our 16th round. With or without us, we know these players will take their dedication, fighting spirit, and love for the game with them in their future endeavors, and we wish them every success. No more silver medals, only gold.
A letter from Steve “LiQuiD112” Arhancet:
A letter from Jim "jeemzz" Eliassen:
A letter from Jord "ibiza" Geldere
A letter from Keiron "Scoom" Prescott
A letter from Frederik “Gulden” van Guldener:
A letter from Tanner “7Teen” Curtis:
Fan favorite moments
One of my personal favorite moments was jembty back in 2019 during GLL with his spray triple kill after jumping down from a balcony. jimbo's reaction was priceless too during that moment.
My favorite moment goes back to 2018 when ibi was jumping off a cliff to get the final kill and win a game in phase 9. It was such a nice and impressive play. I haven't really seen anything like it and still remember it like it was yesterday.
The big favorite moment of mine was the 16th game of weekly survival, week 6 of PGI.S, no doubt. I still shiver when rewatching it, probably the most emotional moment of mine in the entire time I’ve watched PUBG Esports
And to leave off, here are some behind-the-scenes moments, captured by Gulden - a folder of memories from the golden age:
这是一个令人五味杂陈的时刻，很遗憾地告诉大家，我们在PUBG这个项目的时间走到了尾声。鉴于9月战队还有PCS 7的赛程，这个消息或许会让很多人感到惊讶，但我们在8月4日已经和分部的选手与工作人员进行了沟通（事实上，早在年初他们就已经知道有这个可能）。战队仍然会如常参与PCS 7的比赛，但在此之后的PUBG电竞规划已向着我们无法跟随的方向而去。
2017年，TL与由Ollywood, MOLNMAN, Hayz, Scoom组成的首个阵容进入PUBG。彼时，Battle royale 电竞项目尚在萌芽，与直播的火热无法相较而言。但我们从中看到了机会，想给予新选手们们施展身手的机会，由此组成了PUBG分部。战队在Gamescom的一次活动中完成了首次亮相铸就了整个故事的开端。
2018年，在新成员Ibiza和他IQ200的表现下，战队在这个全新的竞技项目中大展身手——在当年的PUBG全球邀请赛中获得了第一和第三人称赛事的第二名。并在Star Series和i-League PUBG第二赛季，以及Polaris系列赛中荣获第一名。
有目共睹的是，TL PUBG分部每一代成员都是战士。尽管有起伏，有颠簸，遭遇翻天覆地的变化，这支队伍总能全力以赴不断精进，努力做到最好。作为一个俱乐部，我们试图追赶他们的步伐，尽可能留在PUBG，但最终我们未能如愿。 不过不管有没有我们，我们知道这些选手会将他们的奉献精神，战斗精神与对这款游戏的热爱带到他们未来的工作中，我们祝愿他们一切顺利。告别银牌，拥抱金牌。